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Old September 8th, 2012, 12:31 PM   #1
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replacement for cubed foam?

Was looking for less expensive alternative to custom-cut foam for my Porta Brace hard case, but something less messy than cubed foam that tears at the perforations. Thinking about something like this, cut by me with an Xacto knife and ruler:

http://www.amazon.com/Carpenter-Memory-Foam-Mattress-Topper/dp/B003LVY4H0/ref=sr_1_2?m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&s=bedbath&ie=UTF8&qid=1347125241&sr=1-2&keywords=memory+foam
It would probably make several layers.
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Old September 8th, 2012, 02:50 PM   #2
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Re: replacement for cubed foam?

There's expanded polyethylene that film & TV flight case manufacturers have been using for many year. Check out their web sits, they usually sell it in sheets or blocks that you can cut with a knife. It lasts for years.
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Old September 8th, 2012, 03:38 PM   #3
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Re: replacement for cubed foam?

Sources you might investigate:

Cascade Tool & Foam Supply - Value Line Foam

CaseCAD Custom Foam Inserts for Hard-sided Carrying Cases
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Old September 8th, 2012, 07:53 PM   #4
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Re: replacement for cubed foam?

There's at least 5 types of that pick 'n pluck foam for sale and the elcheapo stuff will eventually crumble into tiny bits and get in your gear.
With heat it goes sticky, you can't even vacuum it out.

You can't speed up PnP fitting and cutting, do it in stages when you're fresh.

Here's how I do it, position the gear with much thought for space and support eg: heavy cameras go closest to the hinges,
so when the case stands upright, the weight is at the bottom.

Mark around the items with a pen and using a *new* xacto knife, slooowly cut the cubes out, leave the bottom foam pad as support underneath.

Do it over 2 or 3 sessions, if you muck it up, there is a particular tubed glue to patch it up, I've got some and I tab the edges of the cutouts
to strengthen them. You only need to do it all once as it does last for many years. HTH.

Cheers.
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Old September 8th, 2012, 08:41 PM   #5
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Re: replacement for cubed foam?

Hi Guys

Over here my local foam shop calls it "briefcase foam" and it lasts ages and cuts easily with a box cutter/exacto knife. If your foam foam has no idea what you are talking about it's easy to spot if they have another name for it...It's a lot lighter than "mattress foam" almost as light as the styrofoam they packed your cameras in when you bought them amd usually light grey ...it's an almost stiff foam and doesn't indent easily but cuts cleanly with a blade...!

If I am doing a case I make two pieces... One piece is only about 1/3rd the height of your case and then the 2nd is 2/3rd's your case height ....the thinner piece forms a base and the thicker one has most of the cutouts in it and they glue together well with contact adhesive too!!

Chris
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Old September 9th, 2012, 10:36 AM   #6
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Re: replacement for cubed foam?

Chris, you have a foam shop?! Well, Perth is a much larger city than Burlington, Vermont (50,000 pop.), so I can only be a bit envious.

I've browsed the websites of the various kinds of stores I thought might sell foam sheets or panels:

Arts & Crafts (Michael's)
Home Improvement (Lowe's)
Office Supply (Staples)

So far, nothing. Any other categories I should be looking at?
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Old September 9th, 2012, 02:03 PM   #7
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Re: replacement for cubed foam?

If you don't like the on-line sources I mentioned above, you may find upholstery foam at a fabric shop. I have found it at the JoAnn chain store near me. BTW, a serrated knife (like a bread knife) does a good job on foam...
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Old September 9th, 2012, 04:02 PM   #8
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Re: replacement for cubed foam?

Try an electric carving knife on foam; it works really well, and allows you to do pretty straight cuts. I believe my latest one came from Goodwill for $3 or so.
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Old September 9th, 2012, 07:00 PM   #9
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Re: replacement for cubed foam?

Hi Philip

Shucks that's a bummer!! We have quite a few shops that sell only foam and/or rubber products and cut to size for you. They normally sell foam mattresses too!! The ideal solution is a shop when they cut to size etc etc then you get exactly what you need. Might be an idea to talk to the guys that also do living room furniture but it's pretty important to find the hard foam and not the squishy mattress foam otherwise it goes out of shape very quickly and also starts falling to pieces

This is exactly what you need AND they will cut to size too!!! http://www.foamforyou.com/custom_foam_packaging.htm

Chris
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